Mon, 04 Jul 2022 09:10 PM IST
Shortcuts and lack of resilience will take you less far. I mean look around. Electric vehicles are a rage, and several instances of them being engulfed in the fire are making headlines. With context set, I arrived in Bangalore to feel and ride yet another newcomer - Oben Rorr electric motorcycle.
The general perception is electric motorcycles are a bit different to ride and are more difficult to make than the swarm of electric scooters on the market. Barring the cells, Oben founders say the focus has been on localisation. From motor to chassis, Rorr is built in-house. You got to wait a couple of months before the deliveries commence, and the ones we tested are still the pre-production units.
The build quality still has inconsistent panel gaps, loose wires dangling around the cockpit and pop-out bolt heads. These are expected to improve as mass production nears. Available in three interesting colours choices, Oben Rorr packs a circular LED headlight housing and a non-swappable battery unit bound by a steel trellis frame. Prima Facie, Rorr e-motorcycle will appeal to youth, and draw them to showrooms, if Oben is able to iron out the undulations in design. There is a coloured, digital instrumentation which largely looks basic, and neatly puts out information, but again needs to be reworked for better visibility. Oben is developing a connected application for Rorr users, which will ensure live vehicle tracking, charging infra and the health of the motorcycle.
Swung my leg, Oben Rorr electric motorcycle felt nimble and agile. A 10 kW motor draws power from 4.4 kWh Li-ion (LFP) battery and put out 4 kW of continuous power and 60 Nm of peak torque. There are three ride modes to choose from, the range and performance alter accordingly. Eco is where you get a maximum range (claimed) of 150 kilometres, and the top speed is limited to 45 kmph. The range drops to 120 kilometres and the top speed jumps to 65 kmph in City mode. Havoc mode — the most exciting of the three — can zoom the Oben Rorr to 100 kmph but the range further plummets to 90 kilometres. The level of regeneration alters in different modes with it being most intrusive in Eco. While claimed range is something we can’t validate at this point, the top speed in respective modes was on point.
The LFP chemistry-based 4.4 kWh battery, which the company claims to be more stable and better packaged than the ones in the market, comes with a 15-ampere on-board charger which can be spun into a loop and tucked inside the bike. A kilometre in a minute is what the company claims, and a full battery refill takes about two hours. Again, numbers can be validated once we have our hands on the Rorr for a longer duration.
When it comes to riding, the rider’s triangle feels natural to anyone as tall as 6 feet. You sit upright, and the handlebars decently spread outward with centre-set footpegs. In my books, the footpegs can be pushed behind by a few millimetres to make the motorcycle equally conducive for taller riders.
Twist the throttle, and the power delivery is instantaneous. I found the City mode adequate for me, which provides a good mix of decent range, brisk acceleration to overtake and an agreeable amount of motor regen. The double-disc brakes are good, and they bring Rorr to a stopping halt with assuring bite. Again any heating issues and efficacy can only be testified once Rorr is completely market-ready. The telescopic front forks and rear adjustable monoshock are somewhat firmly sprung, allowing Oben Rorr to attack the corners with greater precision. This, however, is at the expense of some comfort. Even little to moderate road undulations seem to shake up the wrist and elbow joints of the rider.
Fingers crossed, I hope Oben Rorr can make an impact with its Rs 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom) tag. The Bangalore-based EV start-up is sitting on an order book of 15,000 units and aims to begin deliveries ahead of the festive season. While my first impression suggests ride, handling and performance are likeable about the Oben Rorr, it’s the visual fine-tuning that the company should nail before the motorcycles arrive at showrooms.
(The Above Article has been written by Anirban Mitra, Producer, Jagran HiTech)